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      No Conviction for Drug Charges Despite Previous ‘Section 10’ for Same Charge

      We appeared at Parramatta District Court for a severity appeal involving serious drug charges.

      This was compounded by the facts that our client had received a ‘Section 10’ good behaviour bond for the same charge within the last 2 years.

      In the Local Court our client had been represented by another firm and received a criminal conviction. He came to us unhappy with his representation and seeking to avoid a criminal conviction.

      We immediately got to work by arranging both psychological counselling and enrolling him in an intensive drug rehabilitation program.

      We adjourned the first Court date for 2 months to allow him to obtain treatment and complete the program.

      We also obtained letters from his employer setting out that a criminal conviction would preclude him from continuing his employment as the company worked with government agencies that required Police checks.

      At the appeal we called our client to give evidence in the witness box. This is generally a risky move as it exposed him to being cross-examined by an experienced Crown prosecutor.

      Despite this, we prepared him well and he was able to answer the questions posed to him by the prosecutor and the Judge.

      We made lengthy oral submissions highlighting the strong subjective factors we had prepared. We also brought the Court’s attention to the decision of R v Mauger [2012] NSWCCA 51 and the relevant factors in favour of allowing the appeal.

      In the result and despite the prosecutor’s strong opposition, the Judge was persuaded to agree with our submissions, and our client was granted a ‘conditional release order without conviction’.

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